Problematic eating can occur when people are heavily relying on external cues, such as disapproval, criticism, serving sizes, food availability, calorie counting, or food rules. When people rely on external factors to determine the amount eaten, they often fail to look at private, internal cues. This can result in ignoring or overlooking hunger and fullness cues. Sometimes binge eating is related to satisfying an emotional need, such as loneliness or emptiness. When people are ignoring what their body is telling them, it makes it increasingly difficult to listen to and trust one’s own experience.
One reason I really love The Appetite Awareness Workbook is because it encourages people to look at their own internal, private cues to identify and change eating habits. It’s about listening to one’s body and being in touch with physiological experiences of hunger and fullness. Mindful eating means tasting what is eaten, paying attention to the experience of hunger, and paying attention to the experience of fullness.
Here are a few tips from the book that have to do with healthy eating habits:
Don’t graze by eating throughout the day. Eat full meals so that your body can learn to anticipate when food is coming. Don’t let yourself get too hungry, as this can result in overeating. When you eat a snack, eat enough to keep yourself full for two hours. Make conscious decisions to stop eating when you feel moderately full.
The Appetite Awareness Workbook can be used as a self-help manual, as it is complete with psycho-education, worksheets, and instructions. It prompts the reader to fill out a hunger/ fullness log for each meal and offers a lot of feedback. I love this book because process for monitoring eating is intuitive and natural. It just makes sense.